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There's nothing worse than a sore winner
by Ted A. Wright


January 20, 2005

Dan Thomasson (Being sore loser is not a winning strategy, Sitnews, January 20, 2005) condemns John Kerry for speaking his mind about serious problems with election processes in key states where minority and low income voters waited hours to vote, leaving many out in the cold as the polls closed. From what I know of the election's aftermath, Mr. Thomasson misses the point.

In many of his columns for the Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller, Thomasson talks about which party or partisan politician has their facts straight and how they are used for their own and their party's benefit. As is almost always the case in politics, you can argue the facts but at some point you have to make a decision about what you believe. Thomasson used to run the Scripps Howard News Service and so his columns appear in many publications in addition to the Caller and Sitnews, so his view of the facts and decisions about what to believe are widely communicated. I tend to agree with him some of the time, but generally find his priorities to be lacking.

For example, in his January 20 column Mr. Thomasson devotes about three sentences to the least important facts about voting irregularities in Ohio, choosing to focus, instead, on John Kerry's political ambitions and the incompetence of Democratic Party leadership. Newsflash! John Kerry still wants to be President and the Democratic Party continues to examine the events of ten weeks past. Give me a break! This reminds me of Thomasson's ripping the Democratic Party in a post convention column - blathering on about the absence of dissention among the party ranks and the appearance of Jimmy Carter - then after the Republican convention writing a column about the appearance of the Bush twins, whom he described as "extremely attractive young ladies." Good job of sharing insights on the most important events of the day for the respective parties, Dan.

Thomasson spends a lot of time writing about the perils of serious journalism. He should re-read his own columns and take his own advice. In a column in which he bashes the Republicans for reneging on pre-election promises of bipartisanship, Thomasson states that, "Indiscriminate, revengeful use of power deprives minority constituents of their voice in the government." From one side of his brain he seems to see the hypocrisy and failure of our two-party-system as it is manifest nationally, while from the other he ignores the substantial evidence that all politics truly is local, and that the electoral failures of 2004 are more than sufficient evidence that more attention on those politics is absolutely essential to a healthy democracy.

Maybe this is what John Kerry was talking about in Boston on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. One could argue that Kerry is trying hard not to repeat the mistake of Al Gore, which was to retreat to the sidelines and ignore the injustices that were increasingly obvious after the Florida voting debacle and subsequent legal challenges. It is possible that Kerry's focus, though politically motivated, is on-target, and that serious election reform should be the topic of discussion on MLK Day, if any? Speaking out about what is wrong with American democracy and pleading for change may not be a winning political strategy, but it is the right thing to do, so I applaud John Kerry for doing it.

Dan Thomasson could learn a thing or two about priorities and politics from John Kerry, if he had half a mind to.

Ted A. Wright
Seattle/Sitka - USA


Related Commentary/Column:

Being sore loser is not a winning strategy by Dan Thomasson...
Thursday - January 20, 2005



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